Land of the Rising Son

BY : escapeasy
Category: +. to F > Code Geass
Dragon prints: 510
Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining/related to Code Geass and I’m not making any profit from this work.

The final part.

Just a little note (because properly describing it was difficult?): Lelouch is wearing something like what Prince Charming from Cinderella wore. ;]

**This Extra is brought to you by the song The Best Is Yet To Come performed by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmf1AYgYj6I


Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum

You came along and everything started to hum

Still it's a real good bet the best is yet to come

Best is yet to come, and babe won't that be fine

You think you've seen the sun but you ain't seen it shine

-•-

Land of the Rising Son

The Wedding

August 10, 2020

Tokyo, Japan.

'You know, Lelouch, I'm very happy for you.'

Lelouch looks over his shoulder from staring out of a sunny window of tall trees to arc his eyebrow at his brother.

Clovis smiles at Lelouch's suspicion. 'I thought for certain you'd grow up to be a lonely, pale and wrinkled old man that no one would find fun or sexually attractive without being paid.' Yeah, that's what Lelouch thought Clovis meant. 'Now all you have to do is keep from driving Suzaku away with that bad attitude of yours.'

'Do you ever take a break from being obnoxious or were you just born this way?' Lelouch blandly barbs.

'That's exactly what I'm talking about.' Clovis jabs with an upturned nose. 'God knows why or how a sweet little sugar cube like Suzaku fell for a sour big-head like you, let alone decided to spend his life with you.'

'Spare me your thoughts by talking to your reflection like you usually do.' Lelouch says offhandedly as he turns around and tugs the bottom of his red tail coat to straighten any creases. 'God knows it's much more interested than I am.'

Clovis grins at his little brother. 'I'll miss playing like this with you.'

'I won't.' Lelouch curtly responds. 'Babysitting you is tiring.'

'Despite whatever you say I know I'm your favorite brother.' Clovis scoffs, the long snowdrop sleeves of his royal formal that drooping from his elbows sway as he crosses his arms over the gold, spindly vines embroidered on his periwinkle chest. 'And if not for me you wouldn't be getting married right now and you really would have turned into a lonely old man.'

…That's not entirely inaccurate.

'I guess you just bring out the masochist in me.' Lelouch dryly says.

'Save it for Suzaku, you closeted pervert.'

Lelouch huffs with a smirk. 'Wrong tree.'

There's a light knock on the door where Marianne peeks through the crack.

'Are you decent, Lelouch?' she asks with a smile, and then notices Clovis. 'Am I interrupting anything?'

'Clovis is just being stupid. Like usual.' Lelouch says. 'You can come in.'

'And you're just being mean.' Clovis pouts with a cross of his arms. 'Like usual.'

'And yet you still hang around me. I wonder who the masochist really is.' Lelouch smiles slyly.

Marianne enters the dressing room with Nunnally and Rolo close behind her. His mother is wearing a full-length dark blue dress that covers her feet and has a white, ruffled cravat that lies between silvery lapels on her buttoned chest.

'You look so handsome!" His mother coos; admiring how the coat is fitted to his tall, slim frame. She slides her long fingers across the golden shoulder guards, watching the tassels shake. 'Sweet peas, isn't your big brother handsome?'

Nunnally steps up to him with a simper – knowing he isn't fond of being fawned over. 'I've heard that people become more attractive when they fall in love.'

'Oh?' Lelouch asks.

She nods with a smile. 'You've always been handsome, big brother, but I understand what that means now.'

Lelouch smirks a little—

'I don't see it.' Rolo announces with a dull slap in his snowy-gray three-piece suit with a morning jacket, an indigo vest and lilac cravat – no frills or glam like Clovis. Less is more for Rolo. 'He looks the same to me.'

Lelouch's smirk falls a little flat while Nunnally giggles and Clovis guffaws.

'Anyway, I've taken a peek at Suzaku, too.' Nunnally says, hands braiding behind the back of her long, lilac dress with magenta frills, bows and a hoop skirt that compliments her small waist where her long hair freely hangs. 'He's very dashing. When did he grow up into such an attractive young man?'

'I suppose the same day you became such a little tease.' Lelouch retorts.

She laughs, soft bubbles popping in her throat. 'The two of you will look so wonderful and captivating together.' She takes a step back to fully eye him. 'With Suzaku wearing his traditional dress and you in this red coat, you'll like two different fairy tales getting married.'

Marianne hums as she also takes a step back to look him over from all the gold trimmings on the coat that drips down his black pants in red side stripes. 'The red coat is an old tradition, but I don't think it's ever looked better on anyone else.'

Clovis clears his throat.

Marianne turns to the neglected little boy with a wry grin. 'And Clovis, I didn't know you could be any more elegant and pretty than usual.'

Clovis smiles broadly and modestly combs a few fingers through the loose locks parted on the right side of his face. 'I might've outdone myself.'

Oh, please.

'Is there anything you wanted, mother?' Lelouch asks to stop Clovis' vanity from gagging him any more than it already has.

'Just wanted to check in. And see you all put together.' She pauses with a wistful nostalgia that shimmers over her blue eyes. 'To think it's only been a month since the two of you became engaged and we're already at the noon of your wedding day.'

Normally only one month to orchestrate and have a wedding would be impossible, especially of this caliber, but there are benefits to being royalty.

'Yes. Has anyone ever told Lelouch that eagerness isn't attractive?' Clovis snips as he inspects his nails.

'This coming from the man who beds anything that pays him a compliment.' Lelouch coolly counters.

'You—! Are you calling me a harlot?!'

'You said it, not me.'

Clovis is ruffling his feathers, puffing up and ready to burst but Marianne pats his shoulder to calm him.

'Now, now. Let's not get off-topic.' she says with a simper and rejoins her son's side. 'Lotus blossom… You're young, and this may all seem too soon to a lot of people, but you have always had a good head on your shoulders. You're responsible and decisive. Your father and I are happy for you. And if you ever need anything we're only a phone call away. I'll be here sooner than you can say flash.'

'…Thank you, mother.'

'Well…' Marianne says with a twinkle in her eyes that Lelouch has learned to fear. 'I don't suppose you need any sex advice for tonight?'

Lelouch chokes, which only goads her more.

'I know there's the internet and all, but, I could tell you which parts are true.'

'Mother—'

'Or just the basics? You know, pay attention to him. Watch carefully for signs when you—'

'Mother!' Lelouch practically shouts, red-faced, and Clovis boisterously laughs, again, while Marianne merely grins.

'Relax, little lotus. I'm only teasing you.'

'Besides,' Clovis joins with his own evil little grin, 'don't think we don't know how lucky both of you are to not worry about wearing a white wedding dress.'

Lelouch can only grumble to himself as he hides his face – his flushing embarrassment – with his white-gloved hand while they all laugh. Even Nunnally.

They're traitors.

All of them.

…Except Rolo, who just looks a little lost.

•-•

Preparations for the wedding went underway practically immediately after the ring was on Suzaku's finger. Maybe such a short amount of time made the stress feel like a never-ending staircase in front of him, at times, because of the added pressure but Lelouch knows he's finally climbed to the top when he sees Suzaku's smile.

"I don't believe you're supposed to be here." Suzaku coyly says, dismissing a few servants out of his separate dressing room with a gesture of his hand.

They haven't seen each other for over 24 hours – Lelouch isn't sure a little superstitious ritual about them not meeting before the wedding was really necessary, and not just because they're both male. They've come too far to let anything take this away from them. Now that he's seeing Suzaku, in his black robes with its mon and stripped hakama, bathed in the midday sun beaming through the windows, it makes Lelouch feel just a little less anxious, and he's glad he came.

'I'm Lelouch vi Britannia. I go where I want.' Lelouch smugly smiles as he approaches to slowly slide his arms around the waist of his first friend. First lover.

"Is that so?" Suzaku grins, petting the gold cords latching around the buttons on Lelouch's red chest. "Did it occur to you that sneaking in right now would spoil the surprise?"

"I should hope you weren't expecting to marry anyone else today."

Suzaku simpers and shakes his head. "I meant about how handsome you look in this outfit."

"Nunnally says we look like a couple of fairytales."

Suzaku laughs. "It almost feels like one."

A quiet pause here where Suzaku's words seem to plant a little bit of truth and a kiss buds between them, blooming in their eyes and traces across their lips. Suzaku is accepting Lelouch's lean, closing his eyes—

Until he finally notices a man with a camera recording their every move, and he shies away.

Lelouch turns to the blond, ponytail man that slipped into the room with him and requests a moment alone.

"I know it's for a good reason, but I'll be glad once he's no longer following us around all the time with that camera." Suzaku somewhat peevishly says once the man is out of the room. "I'm still amazed you've allowed him to document us since you're a locked book in a safe with a lost combination at the bottom of the ocean."

"I know it's been intrusive, but Diethard Reid will do our story justice. He'll show everyone what our union is really about." Lelouch is the opposite of an open book, as Suzaku so creatively put it, but he thought this was important – besides, it's only been for the past month. "And he doesn't lack for spirit."

Suzaku half-smirks. "That he doesn't."

A kiss, finally, that's tender with a hint of yearning opening their lips and constricting their arms.

"I'm… really happy to see you." Suzaku breathes when they part, obvious relief shining in his eyes. "I'm so nervous."

Lelouch thought so.

But that isn't the only reason he's sneaking in this little moment before the ceremony.

"It'll be all right." Lelouch soothes.

"I don't know." A little chuckle. "I'm worried about tripping when we walk up to the altar. Or that I might barf all over you if I don't. Or both."

"Well, only the first one is preferable, if possible."

Suzaku laughs and playfully shoves Lelouch. "You're no help."

Lelouch just smiles as he watches Suzaku take a look at himself in a mirror and he can't help but think that Nunnally was right.

"You're not nervous at all, are you?" Suzaku asks with a cheekily accusatory tone.

Lelouch knows better than to gloat about it. "One of us needs to be calm."

Suzaku lightly sighs. "You know, it would actually make me feel more comfortable if you're nervous. I mean, this is important not just for us. Thanks to television access the entire world is our witness."

Also something Lelouch thought was important.

The first gay wedding of royalty and a future leader?

It's beyond important.

But it wasn't completely Lelouch's will.

"You only have to focus on me." Lelouch touches Suzaku's shoulder. "Try to remember that."

A small smile lifts Suzaku's lips in the reflection. "Just you and me against the world like always?"

"Not exactly…" He circles his arms around the Japanese prince from behind and hands curl over his as they share a smile in the mirror.

•-•

Lelouch isn't fond of weddings, truth be told. It's a distaste rooted in childhood but today, like many things involving Suzaku, is different. This is something he realized he's been waiting to do since their beginning, but didn't completely comprehend it at the time. Marriage has always seemed more about that glamour, theatrics and perks, not sincere emotion. It's something that too many privileged couples have taken for granted and sullied. But even more than law or culture and society, today is the day that starts tomorrow.

Lelouch can walk along side Suzaku up the aisle in their Japanese-style procession and just enjoy being. With Suzaku. Without anything else in their way. And when Suzaku's fingers reach to loosely braid together with his, even though they aren't supposed to, he lets it be with a smile.

In terms of tradition and formality, their wedding is as much of both as it can be. It was decided to be a traditional mix of Japanese and Britannian customs – more than just a compromise to please the many, it was a matter of sense. The veritable marriage of west and east couldn't be more literal. Although the Japanese side does take more liberties because Suzaku is a crown prince and Britannian customs only go so far, it isn't "offensive." This moment is just bigger to Japan than it is to Britannia.

Traditional Britannian weddings aren't all that complicated in reality. Just a church, a priest, the proper attire, procession and done. Traditional Japanese weddings, however, are more… intricate. Lelouch hadn't thought much about the actual ceremony itself – he's attended more weddings than he's ever cared to, but they were brothers, sisters, other distant relatives… the Britannian Emperor. Lelouch has never attended let alone seen a Japanese wedding. Maybe the very act of enabling marriage itself was just more important or maybe his bittered view of weddings in general is what blocked this event from his foresight. For once, in this instance, Lelouch didn't think a single detail through. He's thought of life together with Suzaku. Living in the Japanese palace. Handling Suzaku's father who isn't even his smallest fan.

Then again, Lelouch, or Suzaku, didn't need to be personally involved since tradition spoke over preference.

Also, he didn't have preference.

His choice was to marry Suzaku. End of story.

At any rate, Lelouch understands the significance – at least in this case – and is still a willing participant. When he and Suzaku reach the priests, Japanese and Britannian, the usual vows are made even if meshed together, including language. They stand at the alter – an outdoor shrine, as the Japanese half would have it – with an audience of mostly immediate family, some friends and a few "important" people that could make it a this short notice. It's relatively small, considering, but it's also being televised live – something new for Japan and something borrowed from Britannia. There was a big fuss when Crown Prince Odysseus was married some years back, but that was the only wedding aired since.

Something else borrowed from Britannia is the exchanging of rings. Lelouch spies a bit from the corner of his eyes as they slide the metal bands onto each other's fingers, and he has to admit that this is an interesting culture collision – clothes and demeanor contrasting in a setting so ancient with Mount Fuji piled behind them… it's just surreal. Nunnally compared their wedding to a fairytale, Suzaku agreed and Lelouch does even if only by the look of it, but this marriage isn't going to be easy. There's an absurd amount of pressure on them as the first couple of their kind in this status bracket. Even though it's silly to judge them on behalf of any group of persons, that doesn't mean it won't happen. Lelouch isn't worried about his future with Suzaku, by any means, but he knows the scrutiny will be severe.

They aren't supposed to kiss at the end of the ceremony. It's a formal and religious event – in Britannian tradition it would be in a church, where such things as kissing are inappropriate – and even though Lelouch doesn't particularly like playing by the rules of others, he decided to be compliant overall to just get it over with. Again, he isn't sure of Japanese weddings, only of their conservative culture, but Suzaku doesn't seem to be concerned in any case. Nearly as soon as they're announced as husband and husband, before they can turn to the witnesses, Lelouch gets a face-full of Suzaku.

They rehearsed this.

Several times.

Smile, wave, hold for applause and then leave together.

Not lock lips in front of the priests, their family and the entire goddamn world.

But Suzaku still his has emotional slips of impulse, so, here they are kissing in front of the priests, their family and the entire goddamn world.

Not that Lelouch particularly minds…

He reciprocates this kiss as boldly as he pleases, feeling Suzaku clench their conjoined hands to the sound of clapping and familiar voices hooting their approval. Milly and Kaguya really know how be classy.

At least Suzaku makes it through without tripping or vomiting.

•-•

After a brief limousine ride from the shrine to the palace that involved little more than profusely sucking face, the now-married princes are getting hot and heavy in Suzaku's rooms.

Maybe too hot and heavy.

They came here to change out of their ceremonial clothes and even though they have been successful at the undressing part… the dressing part not so much. They both agreed to wait until the evening to… consummate their union when they could take their time, but kissing non-stop is more fun than getting dressed. They're going with simple black-tie for their own reception – if either of them can part their lips or stop their hands from groping long enough to even put on a tie… Every time Suzaku laughs under a caress or kiss, Lelouch wonders why they aren't just skipping right to the fun part of their wedding day.

Who cares about the reception? They've just done the ceremony which was the required part.

And why bother getting dressed when only hours from now they'll be doing the opposite?

•-•

The reception is a very small and private affair; not televised – although Mr. Reid is allowed some filming – and is strictly reserved for family and friends – their Ashford pals and, on Lelouch's end, mostly just the family he actually wants around, which pretty much means none of them. Emperor Genbu was generous enough to allow it at the palace, most likely for the added security, which isn't something that often happens as the palace "isn't for parties."

The sun is setting when Lelouch and Suzaku have finally arrived to dine outside in an open courtyard illuminated by strung lights and flickering torches. They sit at their own table like two little love-birds. The cuisine courses consist of Lelouch's and Suzaku's favored meals of all kinds from Italian to Indian and of course a tall, stacked cake for dessert. Adopting Britannian style, it's coated in white but decorated with edible sunflowers – their flower – and topped with two little tuxedo-donned grooms while the inside is a moist, velvety chocolate infused with a splash of orange.

For the most part the reception isn't structured – something agreeable for both princes. It's nice to relax a little while they eat after a stuffy, buy-the-books ceremony written by two different cultures. Toasts are made; some are pleasant from the likes of Tohdoh and Marianne while others are uninvited by the likes of Milly and Clovis – he needs to make it crystal clear that this marriage is thanks to him. Lelouch is just lucky Milly doesn't know anything about her Valentines hat game actually being successful. Otherwise he'd never hear the end of that, either.

Suzaku also wanted to do the "married couple feed each other cake and drink champagne" bit, which their guests appear to enjoy. Lelouch doesn't really like having cake shoved into his mouth, but, Suzaku apparently does. It's a bit strange for Lelouch to see his Ashford friends mixing with his family – aside from Milly, who has been a semi-regular fixture since they were kids. For instance, watching Clovis strike out after pouring himself too thick on Kallen is priceless. But Lelouch is unaccustomed to the way Nina's sunlight-deprived, pale cheeks tinge as she stammers through a conversation with Euphie. And even how Rivalz struggles with the arduous task of trying to make Cornelia laugh… or Rolo's unimpressed glower as Shirley rambles on about her old gardening club…

All in all, though, it goes off better than Lelouch anticipated.

Or maybe Lelouch is just enjoying himself more than he anticipated.

That is, until the live orchestral music begins to play, more champagne pours and dancing ensues…

•-•

The dance floor itself is mostly a flat, tiled abstract mosaic in one of the broader and minimal gardens of the palace. Sunflowers have been ornamented in a more sparse fashion with displays, stands and on tabletops along with red and white roses that symbolize unity. This garden is mostly green aside from sweet, delicate jasmine flower pots already native to the palace, but its main feature is a wide, round, shallow but tiered fountain aglow with a lighted base. It's obvious to Lelouch that this garden was meant for entertaining in a manner just like this gathering, but he doesn't know in how long it's had the pleasure of doing so.

The real interest, however, is in the dancing partners. Jeremiah is looking tall and relaxed with an old friend, Villetta Nu, who became the wife of the current Japanese Prime Minister – who sits by with their baby girl bouncing in his lap as he talks with Kallen. Tohdoh and Chiba tenderly flowing with the music isn't as unusual as Clovis who somehow landed Sayoko as a dancing partner. The poor woman. Better give her more champagne… or maybe some pepper spray.

Lelouch wouldn't mind sitting back and watching – since he can't just leave – even though he would've been bored, but unluckily for him the night doesn't go as he'd prefer.

'This has turned out to be very lovely day.' Marianne says to her son; linked by the arms through a mild waltz. 'And I'm glad I caught you with a dance before you, well…'

Lelouch owes his mother a great deal and that's not something he'd soon forget – not that she'd ever let him. If dancing at least once with her is all she's asking for in return, he could hardly decline.

'Of course.' Lelouch says, glancing over his mother's shoulder at Suzaku carefully sweeping with Nunnally around the dance floor—

Who're passed by an uneasy Rolo with his hands full of Kaguya enthusiastically spinning them about, disregarding the slower tempo of the string music.

A nostalgic sigh breezes from her lips. 'I can't believe my little lotus is married.'

Lelouch's lips curl – he's getting tired of hearing about how people thought he'd become a lonely old man, but he knows that's not how she means it. The fond and never-ending use of her unique nickname she gave him as a child proves that.

'Not that I was surprised about you and Suzaku…' She giggles like the ringing of a dainty bell. 'Although I think the Ashfords had been hoping that you and Milly would marry.'

Milly doesn't appear to be having any issues enjoying the company of her date as they stand at the fountain. Gino Weinberg might be a Knight of the Round, but he just seems like a big idiot. A bigger one than Suzaku, but not nearly as cute.

'There's still Rolo.' Lelouch wryly jokes, making his mother really laugh as they shift into a turn—

He briefly catches a glimpse of Rivalz and Shirley sharing heat on their close cheeks as they dance.

'Now I just have to wonder how long it will take Schneizel to stop pretending that his assistant is his 'assistant' now that you've paved a new road.' Marianne playfully mutters through a snide curve of her lips.

An obligatory invite, the Second Prince and current Britannian Prime Minister, Schneizel el Britannia, is standing and talking with Emperor Genbu and none other than his "assistant," Kanon Maldini, at his side.

'If he wants to live like a pious coward, that's his prerogative.' Lelouch smirks sharply in an identical way to his mother.

Marianne chuckles. 'The world is still too small for the both of you, is it?'

Lelouch half-shrugs.

She hopelessly shakes her head at him, smiling a motherly smile that neither condones nor condemns.

'You know there was some resistance when your father and I married,' she distantly recalls, 'and although it isn't the same, I know some of that hardship. I meant it when I said that you can come to me, your father, whenever you need us.'

Lelouch stays quiet.

Then she longingly sighs, her deep blue eyes sparkling like a lonely star. 'I will miss you.' she says. 'I already do.'

Lelouch can't bring his eyes to meet hers. 'I'll visit.' Instead they land on the Britannian Emperor dancing closely with Lady li Britannia.

'Of course.'

And then not another word is spoken.

Not until the music sweetly fades away like a dying lullaby that still manages to squeeze around his heart—

'Pardon me,' Suzaku's sunny face pops up beside them like a crashing comet that actually startles Lelouch. 'Do you mind if I have the next dance?'

'Not asking me, are you?' Marianne coyly asks, but laughs and pinches his cheek – to which he smiles through a grimace – before he can respond. 'Just kidding! I leave him to you.' Her hand lingers on his face in a petting cup and her strong eyes look too delicate. 'Take good care of him, you hear?'

'Not sure he needs me for that, but I promise to do my best.' Suzaku simpers.

She laughs hardily in her belly and wrangles both boys in by their necks, giving them each a mommy kiss on their cheeks and saying goodbye before she leaves. Lelouch watches her take the next dance with her husband before he looks to Suzaku with a pout.

'I was going to sit down.' he lamely grouses – mood a little soured, yes, but he was hoping to attempt anchoring himself somewhere, away from all this dancing.

"And now you're going to dance with me." Suzaku pleasantly corrects as he takes Lelouch's hand into his grasp. When Lelouch just apathetically stares, he sympathetically shrugs. "Consider it as me saving you from having to dance with anyone else. No one's going to cut in on the newlyweds."

Suzaku just might have a point there.

"I know you don't like dancing, but this is our wedding day." Suzaku rests his other arm on Lelouch's shoulder with a puppy-pitiful gaze. "Just do this for me? I even requested something slow, so you don't have to move that much."

Lelouch smiles, despite himself, and wraps an arm around his husband's waist to pull him closer. "As you wish."

What Suzaku said isn't false. Lelouch dislikes dancing and tries to avoid it like the plague whenever possible. He is classically trained in ballroom dancing, of course, but past experiences and observance have ruined the entire affair for him and he simply refuses to participate – not that he was ever real keen on it to begin with. The only exceptions to this rule are his mother, Nunnally and half-sister Euphemia, and even that involves twisting his arm. They each got one dance with him tonight. …And one for Kaguya – because her birthday is tomorrow. But no one else.

Even though with Suzaku it… is different. All the things Lelouch thought he hated about dancing he's finding he enjoys. Bodies close, locked in a fluid and soothing embrace as everything else dries up and crumbles away… However, they're both men and that makes them an eye-magnet and Lelouch despises being gawked at like a side-show. Same-sex parings in dancing have been and still are non-existent in Lelouch's world. For commoners, the story might different. Yes, it's their wedding day, but that doesn't make it better. Just another exception.

Lelouch doesn't hate dancing with Suzaku, just hates dancing in front of others.

"You only have to focus on me…" Suzaku quietly murmurs, his borrowed reassurance blending into the soft, whispering music lacing around their bodies.

Lelouch can't ignore the obvious – and it's not as though Lelouch cares about what others are thinking or even that anyone here cares, he's just averse to the spotlight – but Suzaku is still somewhat partially correct. Lelouch just needs to focus on what's important.

The way his nose naturally nestles in the fluff of brown hair over Suzaku's temple. How it still smells like the sun.

And the comfortable, close-knit feeling of their bodies gently swaying together. In unison.

"This is nice, isn't it?" Suzaku asks with dreamy eyes that seem to rest in the affectionate crescent of his smiling lips.

Despite everything he loathes about dancing, it's… nice to be with Suzaku here and now just as they are and knowing nothing can take it away from them.

Nothing.

"Just don't ask me to dip you unless you want to be dropped." Lelouch dryly remarks.

Suzaku rolls his eyes—and then they gleam with a double-take. "I could dip you."

Lelouch doesn't even dignify that with a response.

The eastern prince tenderly laughs to himself and slides his fingers up Lelouch's nape, tangling loosely in black hair. "You can at least dip your head for me, yeah?"

Lelouch's head slants down to meet Suzaku's up angle and their lips press in a kiss that quickly melts past saccharine fluff and into a heated, molten center. Their mouths open and slide in slow motions like the stretching of notes that's guiding their bodies until this kiss overrides everything else and they're left standing still while others dance around them.

In this moment the idea that it's only the two of them on the face of the Earth doesn't feel like such a bad thing.

"…What do you say to the two of us getting out of here and going somewhere more… private?" Lelouch suggestively asks in Suzaku's ear, pressing his hand firmly against the small of Suzaku's back.

"Trying to get out of dancing with me?"

"Trying to get you out of your pants, actually." Lelouch frankly says with admittedly little charm but it still splits a lustful line across Suzaku's lips that kiss him again as hands hold his jaw.

"I think I knew that already." Suzaku murmurs against Lelouch's mouth, fingers like loose ribbons sliding down his neck. "Think we can sneak away?"

It's actually still quite early in the evening and in terms of when the reception began, but Lelouch didn't care all that much about it in the first place.

"You should know the two of us can accomplish anything when we work together."

•-•

Sneaking off like the giddy teenagers they once were turns out to be the easy part.

The hard part hits halfway through the palace to Suzaku's private quarters when the Japanese prince decides that Lelouch isn't moving fast enough – Lelouch wasn't aware that the world will end if they don't get to sexing under a predetermined time – and takes matters into his own hands.

"Struggling only makes it worse." Suzaku grimaces at the long, lanky body he's carrying folded over his shoulder with flapping limbs.

"Being an idiot only makes it worse!" Lelouch bites – he's thought about actually biting – and kicks his legs.

Suzaku attempted bridal-style, but Lelouch made it too difficult for that.

He's not so sure this is an improvement.

"OWW—H-Hey, that hurts!" Suzaku cautions when a knee knocks against his ribs. "If you don't stop I just might accidentally drop you."

'Don't think I won't take you with me.' Lelouch challenges like a wounded animal, tugging at the back of Suzaku's pants with the clear intention of letting gravity slump them around his feet – hopefully tripping him, but the threat alone should suffice.

"Stop being such a child." Suzaku plainly chides before heaving Lelouch backwards off his shoulder and gracelessly plopping the Britannian prince down on his bed like a sack of potatoes before yanking off his black tie and jacket.

Hell itself scorches in the withering glare Lelouch lasers through the mussed fray of his hair as he pushes himself up on his elbows. 'Don't. Do. That. Ever. Again.'

Suzaku smiles as he crawls up on the bed to straddle Lelouch's lap. "Don't make me wait so long to spend the rest of my life with you again, and I won't."

And to think it was mostly Suzaku who wanted to wait this afternoon when they were changing.

Lelouch's tart face flattens. "Are you proud of that line?"

"Yep." Suzaku grins as he leans in closer to Lelouch's lips.

"That makes one of us."

'Just shut up, would you?' Suzaku dryly jabs before kissing his disgruntled spouse.

Maybe Lelouch can't really blame Suzaku for his impertinence – even though they were officially engaged for only a month, their relationship has stretched across the past three and half years in ways that could've split it at the seams and unraveled them, but didn't. Lelouch is indebted to Suzaku's tolerance for that. The Japanese prince might not be nearly as cool-headed as Lelouch, but his heart has been big enough to fill the gaps where stress and frustration tore under their feet. Lelouch's efforts have gone a long way as well, but, Suzaku has made the ride less bumpy.

They might've been together for 3 years, but this day was 10 years in the making.

Suzaku's lips have certainly aged in confidence since their high school beginnings – tonight they're the boldest they've ever been. His kisses aren't the tentative and uncertain touches that searched against Lelouch's; they're well-versed and confident to take what they want.

And they want Lelouch.

But Suzaku pulls away all too quickly and Lelouch is left to watch him shed his shirt with a feisty grin and provocative movements; a little shoulder wag once it's bare, arching his back in a way that emphasizes his firm pectorals and stiff nipples… Lelouch lets his fingers wander up the taut terrain of Suzaku's stomach, helping the brunet to maintain his smile as he flings his shirt into the air somewhere behind him. Suzaku has had this modestly athletic body since Lelouch started noticing Suzaku has a body; lean muscles padding supple, sun-coated skin... He slides his flat palms down the smooth contours of Suzaku's chest, naval and the edge of black pants when hands take root in the bed above his shoulders, making him realize Suzaku is gazing at him. Two grassy green orbs misted with a thick gloss of love that seems to drip and catch in the soft curving on his mouth.

"I love you." Suzaku says, softly. 'I love you.' Sweetly, as he leans down. "Forever." Lowering his lips towards Lelouch's. 'And ever.' Breathing against them—

Lelouch seals the gap between them with an upward lunge of his lips, his tongue doing all the talking in Suzaku's mouth while his fingers don't forget their priorities. They twist and tug quickly at fastens, feeling a stiffening growth against them and hearing Suzaku's satisfied moan hum inside his throat. They busily lap at each other's mouths with lips and tongues lost in a deep tangle while Lelouch's fingers tease the line between cloth and skin by skimming around Suzaku's hips. He slinks his hands inside loosened pants and over the bare curves of his husband's firm bum, squeezing another pleased mew from Suzaku that seeps from between their mouths. Lelouch pulls with a tighter grip to grind their hips, together and it sprouts a louder moan from Suzaku's mouth that nearly breaks their kiss. He chases after the taste of pleasure instead by roughly pushing Lelouch against the bed with his mouth and his hips down harder on the pair beneath him to match the directing of groping hands. Lelouch likes the eager sounds that purr over Suzaku's tongue and the more ardent his jutting hips become as he's pressed down more firmly.

Once Lelouch decides he's done lying passively on his back he shifts and rolls them onto Suzaku's back, never stopping their kisses. They're lips are fluid and savoring like Lelouch's hips that set a calm pace grinding over the eastern prince who pushes and pulls the tuxedo jacket from Lelouch's shoulders, tossing it aside. His hands then take a seeking stroll over a white shirt, sliding up and down Lelouch's back while said man rubs their crotches together with more pressure in slower motions while their lips slurp. But needing too much air and feeling all his excited blood catch up with him, Lelouch breaks the kiss with a quick inhale and hooks into Suzaku's pants and underwear. He stares down at fogged evergreen eyes and pink-painted cheeks through his panting before pulling clothes down and off – aside from one pant-leg that somehow turns itself inside-out around Suzaku's ankle. The brunet quietly snickers as Lelouch wrenches the uncooperative apparel away with a furrowed brow and proceeds to tug off a pair of black socks.

The reward for his efforts makes itself known.

"…See something you like?" Suzaku quips at Lelouch's long and silent stare settled between his bent legs.

A cool smirk pools in a corner of Lelouch's lips as he lies his hand flat on Suzaku's stomach, flicking a fleeting glance at the pair of eyes watching him before pecking kisses down the center of Suzaku's chest. His hand sails upward as his lips speckle downward, feeling Suzaku's body curve into his touch and listening to the soft, contented breaths when his fingers find a nipple. The tips of his first two fingers lightly circle over the small, hard nub and his lips reach a tight bellybutton. Suzaku's slightly undulating stomach tenses when Lelouch traces his tongue around the edge of the opening in a leisurely ring while his fingers begin pinching. The pink peak stiffens even more under his tweaking as his other hand skates along Suzaku's side and over an antsy hip to the growing hardness where his tongue joins. Lelouch lips are barely closing around the top when—

"Wait." Suzaku murmurs with a discouraging push on Lelouch's head. "I don't want my first as your husband to be like this."

Lelouch looks up with a smirk. "You're that close already?"

"…My heart is… very full." Suzaku's eyes are coated with a solemn sense of sentiment and it deflates Lelouch's sly lips.

Very well.

Lelouch upheaves himself from Suzaku and the bed, takes off his tie and unbuttons his shirt as he steps closer to the night table for the lotion Suzaku keeps in the—

But Lelouch is affronted by a gift basket wrapped in a pale pink plastic and topped by a very familiar red, dangling hearts bow, that's sitting proudly on the nightstand. Too proudly. Lelouch drops his shirt on the floor and inspects the little tag with scrutiny, a frown appearing when he reads looping scrawls, and then his frown deepens when he peers through the plastic. Oils, lotions, gels, soaps and a couple of oddly-shaped objects that Lelouch never, ever, wants to learn what their purpose is.

Goddamn Clovis.

He sighs tiredly at his childish older brother and takes their usual – safe – bottle from the drawer, turning to find Suzaku lying on his side under the blankets with a frisky little smile. Lelouch feels it mirror across his own lips in rather tight pinches as he rests the lotion on the bed to remove the rest of his clothes. Suzaku pulls the quilt aside for Lelouch when he climbs into bed but more or less forgets it as the violet-eyed man settles on folded legs back between his bare thighs.

'And here I was thinking you'd like something special for our consummation.' Lelouch says with a cocky grin, spreading and warming a squirt of lotion on his fingertips.

"I get to spend the rest of my life with you…" Suzaku's back arches in a light twist after Lelouch's hand dips down between them, a whispery sound sliding through his nose. He shuts his eyes briefly while a ruby-ringed hand locked in his messy copper curls clenches and tugs.

'…So you don't need anything else?' Lelouch asks assuming the usual tag to that declaration.

Suzaku's lips quirk with a taste of deviousness. "That means there will be plenty of opportunity for special later. Right now, I just…" Suzaku pulls Lelouch down flush against him, sliding one hand down a bumpy spine and the other into the tassels of ebony hair. They kiss slowly, lips melting into each as he tightly folds his steely legs over Lelouch. "I just need you."

Well, shit.

Sometimes Suzaku can be unpredictable and sometimes it flips Lelouch like an on-switch.

He enters Suzaku in a strong but careful push and watches the way it bends his husband's back with a feasting moan that burns in his ears and throbs in their connection. It stirs a carnal sound in his throat and he nibbles at the side edge of Suzaku's upturned chin in the beginning thrusts, swallowing the growl curdling in his throat. Lelouch feels it fall all the way to his hips where it belongs, swinging them harder against Suzaku's squiggly body and pushing hardier moans from his open mouth. They're nearing the end of their wedding night that has a lifetime together promised with following dawn, but acting as though they're only seeing the end.

Maybe that's not incorrect.

This is the end of all the time they've had to wait.

It's a celebration of a beginning and a farewell to an end.

Lelouch is beginning to understand what Suzaku meant when he said his heart is full…

Even so, this isn't the slow-burn that Lelouch had been expecting – hoping – for this evening. This isn't rushed or frantic or even desperate – just a culmination of everything. He fulfills Suzaku's wish but maintains a more reasonable pace to keep himself from inevitably burning out too quickly – and to cherish a night that can never be repeated… And to relish the sight, sounds and sensations of Suzaku swimming in ecstasy thanks to his own efforts.

Since their beginning, Lelouch has been enchanted by the effect he has on Suzaku; how all the right touches in all the right places can make his body come alive for Lelouch and Lelouch alone – and then how all of that is magnified when he's inside Suzaku. It was a mysterious splendor at first, something new and enticing that Lelouch wanted to understand – and then he needed to understand until he just needed. It became less like programming a computer and more like creating a lavished, delectable feast for both of them to enjoy, together. Almost four years later and Lelouch is still hungry; hungry for the known and even whatever that is still unknown of Suzaku's body, his being. He never tires of watching Suzaku's flushed skin and his lean muscles tense and crease as his body quirks to the rhythm and will of his lover. Suzaku is already panting and grasping at the rumpled sheets in a way that washes away everything else, except the two of them together at this moment like they were always destined to be. All empty lungs, beating hearts and writhing bodies—

But Lelouch notices a glitter of something budding in the corners of Suzaku's eyes… and he feels himself, everything – the world – stop moving. Suddenly, he remembers the journey is still here with them – or at least still with Suzaku. Lelouch is over it. He was over it before he moved to Japan. But Suzaku… his emotions are closer to the surface and linger longer and sometimes overflow.

He cries not in misery, but in joy.

And as much as Lelouch doesn't really understand how it's possible for happiness to bring tears, he understands Suzaku. He would call his partner's name but his breath is somewhere else, and it feels like an unnecessary sound, so he just wipes tears like he's done in the past; gently, tenderly and with a few kisses. Suzaku's arms wrap around him, one over his neck and another under his arm and over his shoulder as he sobs quietly and briefly.

Stopping when Lelouch's lips press against his.

When Lelouch begins moving his hips again.

This time Lelouch does it right.

He sets his knees firmly on the bed and lets his hips build up like they wanted in a slower start as Suzaku clings to him. His bent legs squeeze against Lelouch's sides and his eyes dry as the two of them fall back under the waves of pleasure. Lelouch steadily rocks his body as they sink deeper and he remembers what it means to be buried in his first and only best friend as more of Suzaku's voice sails up to his ears. It pours softly into his head – his chest – and clouds like cotton until it unspools into his blood as boiled oil and spurs him to heave his hips even faster. Faster until Suzaku's body doesn't know up from down and his eyes get lost in a dazed luster…

This is far from their first time together but it almost feels like it could be their first time – and this is another moment Lelouch will remember for the rest of his life. Suzaku's form is a lyrical writhe under him with embracing limbs that fit around him like they've been missing pieces. Suzaku's accepting body and open mouth are a searing velvet under an almost vindicated desire polishing his face with pleasure – with a purity that glows on his cheeks like never before. All of this, all of Suzaku, is carving into Lelouch's skull. He can feel it like a red-hot brand sizzling through his nose as he inhales Suzaku's scent when he nuzzles into the curve between neck and shoulder, losing himself in everything that is his only love.

Everything that's been twisting in their bodies is close to snapping and a sharp warning pops from Suzaku's throat as his back tightly arcs. Lelouch can feel it in both of them and he digs into the sheets with a gripping hand as he races against their pulsing pleasure, feeling Suzaku's hand grapple at his wrist soon after. His other arm clingingly constricts around Lelouch's neck as his body stiffens from bent neck all the way to curling toes as their ascension reaches its peak. Lelouch lifts his head to watch it spear through Suzaku's eyes in beautiful bliss as his short breaths sharpen and their eyes meet a second before it breaks.

Suzaku falls first with a cry, chest bowing almost like a firing slingshot trying to launch his thrashing heart from his chest.

When the rush overwhelms Lelouch seconds later, it lingers in a wade of his hips against Suzaku's body that has already gone loose and soft…

Their resting bodies are coated in a light sheen of sweat that's warmed under the glow of lanterns while their heavy pants fill the air. Lelouch is a boneless, brainless puddle pooling over Suzaku, and he's quite content to stay that way.

"Hey, Lelouch, don't fall asleep." Suzaku gently shakes his husband's limp shoulder with a small fidget.

Suzaku, it seems, is not content with such.

'I'm not ready to go again, Suzaku.' Lelouch is barely able to grunt and weakly swats at the general direction of Suzaku's intrusion. '…Save some for the honeymoon.'

'Charming.' Suzaku grins and rolls Lelouch over with care—"But no. I just want you to stay awake."—but the western prince splats on his back like a cracked egg regardless.

Sleep sounds like a much better idea… than staying… awake.

"I know!" Suzaku suddenly springs upright in a fashion much too perky. "Want to take a bath?"

•-•

The water in the outdoor bath is warm and calming under the August night sky that cooled more than expected. The full moon is lonely because the stars can't be seen through the palace lights, the lampposts of this garden and the city shine, but Lelouch's attention isn't on the heavens or the weather. His heliotrope eyes are transfixed on the way his water-dipped fingers stream drops down Suzaku's skin as he runs them over a shoulder when the brunet settles against his chest in the bath. Lelouch loops his arms around Suzaku and just enjoys holding him here, now, for a long, quiet moment until Suzaku weaves their left hands together.

"We did it." Suzaku says with a cotton candy voice as he admires the fine couple their ringed hands make and Lelouch can distinctly hear the smile in his voice. "We're really married." He clenches his grip on Lelouch's hand. "Married."

Lelouch's expression softens with a placid smile and he hums in the positive as he nuzzles his nose in Suzaku's frizzy curls. The Japanese man leans into the kisses Lelouch garnishes on his head, bringing their woven hands up to his mouth and pressing his lips against the ring on Lelouch's finger. A soft, snowy hand slips down Suzaku's stomach and underwater, fingertips lightly threading through the little brown hairs bellow his naval leading to the un-pruned thicket below his hips. Water ripples rock around them when Lelouch's arm slowly pumps up and down, oozing Suzaku's voice through his nose in a smooth and delicate sound. His head lolls back on Lelouch's shoulder and he clenches their conjoined hands to his chest while his empty one rakes into and clasps the stalks of the Britannian's black hair as if to keep the bones in his body solid. His neck is left ripe for the picking in Lelouch's eyes and he licks dilatorily under a jawbone corner, tonguing succulent skin and sinking his teeth in before sucking. Something of a gratified gasp ghosts from Suzaku's lips as his body bows a bit, his rigid nipples pushing outward while Lelouch's arm churns a little a faster in front of them.

"Thought you wanted to save some for the honeymoon…" Suzaku tries to tease, but it floats softly on a calm current of building pleasure and it only makes Lelouch smirk.

'Maybe you can't wait that long.' Lelouch's lips are a hot whisper on the back of Suzaku's ear that tremors down his body.

"You're right." Suzaku says with a dark drape over his voice that isn't heard very often and spins himself around in a whirl of water to straddle Lelouch's lap. To look into his eyes. "I've waited long enough." He holds Lelouch's head with both hands as he fires up their lips with a roasting kiss, dipping his tongue into Lelouch's mouth and moaning when the hand that touched him before continues stroking.

Suzaku doesn't seem to have much desire for foreplay this evening.

His hips begin rutting Lelouch's hand almost immediately and his kisses are sloppy. Tame, but sloppy. He swivels his head side to side, breath spilling from the corners of Lelouch's mouth and teeth occasionally knocking together and although it isn't the sexiest smooch-fest they've ever had, Lelouch is feeling it. Kind of hard not to with Suzaku's enthusiastic erection in his hand; but it isn't just Suzaku's liveliness, it his honest need. The way his body has a craving only Lelouch can satisfy and how much of a drug it has become for both of them. When Suzaku's hand grabs at Lelouch under the water, he groans and bites the bottom lip plumping against his and feels the delighted shudder that scuttles down Suzaku's spine. Lelouch grasps a clump of moist, earthy brown hair with his free hand and yanks Suzaku's head back in a way that pulls a quick, sharp moan from the brunet's throat. He pants heavily up at the inky night sky, grasping a shoulder to distill dizziness as his lower body grinds closely against Lelouch's when their hands unite their rigid flesh under the wavy water. They slide and squeeze themselves together as the water splashes uproariously between them to Suzaku's spirited thrusting that rubs him as closely to Lelouch as he can. The western prince can feel the bumpy, somewhat jagged edges of the rock border of the bath digging into his back as Suzaku pushes against him, but he doesn't complain. He takes the discomfort and tightly twists Suzaku's hair as he bites an open neck in places he would typically avoid because they would show later – but the time for such prudence has died. A mewl wisps from Suzaku's nose and he claws into Lelouch's shoulder as his hair is roughly tugged, hips faltering when a mouth seals around one of his nipples. Lelouch teases the nub with his tongue and teeth the way Suzaku likes, listening to his husband's scattered sounds of pleasure nasally dripping into the sloshing of water.

"Lelouch…" Suzaku's hand reels up from between them to grasp ebony tresses and he suddenly falls into stillness.

Said Britannian prince looks to the breathy beckoning of his name. Their eyes lock.

"I…" Suzaku murmurs, voice sounding heavy and winded with a hot, sultry glaze in his eyes, and he doesn't need to say any more.

Soon enough Suzaku is bent over the edge of the bath and half-kneeling on the seat, moaning against Lelouch's hips as water leaps up around them. It swashes loudly in Lelouch's ears, but not nearly as pleasantly as the erotic chop of Suzaku's voice that shamelessly flops on the stone slates under his bracing arms. His sounds morph in and out of words and they're like chunks of coal fueling Lelouch as he brings them closer to the edge with hardy, direct thrusts that don't waste a single second of his energy. Lelouch watches Suzaku's body snake in front of him through the rolls of pleasure that ripple all the way from their connection and out of his mouth louder and louder. Then Lelouch realizes they've never done this. They've had sex in the shower, in a bathtub, but not outside with nothing but the sky and the plants watching them. It's… exhilarating. Almost like a literal manifestation of what they've become – out and proud… so to speak. The fresh air is a soothing cascade over his swampy skin as he listens to the unhindered, uninhibited croons Suzaku has always kept so tightly contained.

They're going fast and hard, although not in haste or desperate impatience. This is enjoying the moment simply as it is – something that Lelouch isn't sure they've ever been able to do. Always a worry tethering them or a concern cemented around them. In bed some hours ago it was a rush of emotions and now all that shackling has broken and fallen away. Not to be forgotten. Only sweeten what's to come.

Suzaku blindly reaches behind at Lelouch's right arm and clasps with slippery fingers as he pushes back against the body filling him with a gutted instruction because he's closeHarderFaster. Then his voice melts into the slurring slopes of his lusting, low cries as Lelouch heeds his pleas. He tosses himself more heavily against Suzaku's round rear that braces more firmly; his violet eyes sinking into the infinite streams of solid muscle that shift and tense over a brawny body. Lelouch watches the silver on his finger glint as he slides it up Suzaku's bowing back before it's nearly lost in still-damp tousles of chocolate hair where he shovels his gripping fingers… but relaxes. He decides against indulging Suzaku's craving to have pain scattered over his pleasure like shrapnel and swoops his hand under and along Suzaku's belly until he's jerking his arm complimentary to his fast thrusts. It bursts a sudden, nasally bliss from the eastern prince and his body worms happily at the attention it had been craving. Suzaku shifts, pushing up from the stone and towards Lelouch who slides his free arm around the shorter man, kissing a rising shoulder as a hand reaches backwards to the back of his head and locks in his ebony hair. Lelouch is able to hold Suzaku closer as he moves, mouthing all along his husband's shoulder to his neck as a brown-haired head is thrown back and panting through beautiful, wordless sounds of ecstasy. Suzaku is alive and thriving in Lelouch's hands, around his own flesh, just where he was always meant to be and always will be.

When heaven hits them, it doesn't fall from the sky like a crack of lightning. It blooms brightly, cleanses the darkness, and sparkles on their wet skin through a warm tingle that hugs them as they dissolve into the deeper center of the bath. Together. They kiss in a wrapping embrace and a full moon shimmers on the water calmly lapping at their chests…

•-•

Tonight, tucked in snugly with Suzaku in his bed, is the best night's sleep Lelouch has ever had.

•-

-•

"This is so exciting!" Suzaku says, bouncing on his feet like a child on Christmas morning as servants hustle by to load luggage into one of two black luxury sedans parked at the inner entrance of the palace. "I didn't think I'd ever get to see Europe! I can't believe it! And can't wait to get there! There's so much to see, I hope we have enough time…"

They'll roughly have two months, which isn't a lot of time to thoroughly tour Europe or even just some of the places they've – Suzaku – decided to visit, but he has every right to be excited. It isn't Lelouch's first trip to this country cluster of the world, and even though he is looking forward to traveling and experience this with Suzaku, his excitement just isn't at the same level. His interests… lie elsewhere.

Lelouch sharply smirks. "Assuming you can walk after what I do to you, there might be time to sight-see."

"Assuming you tire as quickly as you usually do, I think I'll have plenty of time." Suzaku grins.

Lelouch doesn't think that's very funny – it's quality, not quantity.

But he takes it in stride—as in, with a few steps he lassos an arm around Suzaku's waist and closes the gap between their bodies.

"Then maybe I'll just have to tie you down to make sure you don't escape." He deviously purrs in a low murmur with his lips pressing against Suzaku's ear like a dangerous temptation.

Suzaku's body bubbles in a low and throaty laugh that's awkwardly giddy as he pats Lelouch's shoulder as if to say "Oh, you!" A thin, smug line carves into Lelouch's lips and he nibbles lightly at Suzaku's earlobe as he holds the eastern prince snugly in his arms. Suzaku squirms to look into amethyst eyes and a smile spreads across his mouth before he stands up on his toes for a kiss. Lelouch's holds him with both arms and fully enjoys this open-mouth kiss under the bright shine of midday sun.

"…Suzaku."

Spoiled only by the gruff man that has become Lelouch's father in-law.

They split like bowling pins even though Suzaku is still smiling contently and he leaves Lelouch for a moment alone with his father. Lelouch can't hear their words, but he can feel everything the Emperor doesn't say like slime seeping into his pores.

Suzaku's father hasn't been welcoming to Lelouch – not that he's ever gone out of his way to be friendly in the past – and while he can understand a paternal protectiveness, Lelouch knows it's more than that. Most obvious displays of affection between him and Suzaku are silently spurned and the smaller ones are just barely tolerated. If they were a straight couple, the Emperor wouldn't be nearly this rigid. Even though he's come a ways in terms of acceptance it's clearly still something he's learning to adjust to. Hell, there's probably still a part of him that thinks this whole marriage is just a ploy to gain Britannian control over Japan, but that's just healthy paranoia Lelouch can understand and doesn't condemn. He also gets the sense that his father in-law simply doesn't like him. So, there's that.

Lelouch figures the Emperor's distaste is personal, because he'd be willing to bet that if Suzaku wanted to marry a Japanese man there wouldn't have been as big a stink as there was. Never mind that the Japanese Prime Minister Kaname Ohgi married a Britannian woman and had a child with her.

Suzaku hasn't seemed to notice it, yet, and Lelouch certainly isn't going to be the person to tell him. Lelouch keeps his distance and remains as respectful as he needs to maintain the peace. Lelouch doesn't honestly care one way or another how the Emperor feels about him but he owes it to his husband to at least not rock the boat and accidentally toss Suzaku overboard.

Because if anyone is hurt through discord, it will be Suzaku.

Lelouch stays where he is as stoically possibly under a beating summer sun in the height of day while Suzaku chats with his father. The Emperor seems to leave their parting to a shoulder pat and warning glower at Lelouch. The western prince smiles amiable and waves at the threat that's already been uttered – to not do anything damaging to Suzaku and/or the Japanese throne – as Suzaku joins his side like he never left.

"They're done with our luggage," Suzaku says as he doesn't waste any more time under the Japanese sun than he needs to by pulling Lelouch towards the cars. "Let's get this show on the road!"

"You mean into the sky." Lelouch murmurs.

"First things first." He retorts as they climb into the car and watch the Emperor get smaller and smaller as they depart down the road covered in a bushy canopy of trees curving over them. "We even get to take the private jet." Suzaku notes with enthusiasm not befitting royalty.

"Of course. What's mine is yours, right?"

Suzaku laughs. 'I should probably speak English from now on, huh? Better to practice more.'

'Don't worry. I've got you covered in English, French, Spanish, Italian and a little bit of German.' Lelouch nonchalantly says.

Suzaku gapes.

'…What?'

"I'm just jealous." He simpers. 'You know so many languages – I only learned English because I had to. But, I guess now's my chance to learn a little of the other languages.'

But Lelouch didn't learn exactly learn them as a form of recreation.

They drive through the palace front gates, and promptly leave them behind.

'You do already know a little bit of French.' Lelouch smiles and teases the tips of his fingers into the side of Suzaku's hair. Suzaku looks away from the car window with a questioning blink. So Lelouch leans in and kisses him. With his tongue.

When he pulls back with a thick, complacent smirk Suzaku's eyes are slightly narrowed.

'You really do think you're funny, don't you?'

'Yep.' Lelouch's lips soften into a less cheeky grin. 'But you love that about me, don't you?'

'I wonder…' Suzaku mumbles, but he doesn't resist the kisses that peck his cheek and he certainly doesn't stop Lelouch from taking his lips once more.

•-

-•

Mornings later as Lelouch sips an espresso on the balcony of a hotel suite with Suzaku who's admiring the view of the Eiffel Tower, he'll learn that their wedding was the most viewed event in television history, ever. He'll smile lightly to himself, leave his phone on the table to join his husband leaning on the black iron railing and kiss the euphoric smile on Suzaku's lips.

Like the rising of the sun, this is only the beginning



You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story